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Old 03-09-2014, 03:39 PM
Jim Ellis's Avatar
Jim Ellis Jim Ellis is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 135
Default Covers for RV-7A and RV-9A Main Gear Mounts

I always thought that the main landing gear mounts in front of the spar on my RV-9A had an unfinished look to them. As I was looking at the RV-7A that I am now building, I wondered if I couldn't come up with some kind of a cover for them. Since I have the -9A flying there is no urgency to complete the -7A so taking on a new and time consuming project is an interesting challenge.

Here's what the gear mounts on -7A and the -9A look like before.

And here's what they look like with the covers I fabricated.

I went through six sets of paper patterns before I got the close fit I wanted.

Using the final patterns I was able to create a full size fabrication drawing that looks like this.

The covers are made from a sheet of .025 aluminum that I had lying around. If you don't have a big scrap pile like I do (and after two planes I have a big scrap pile) you can order a sheet of .025 aluminum from Van's that will make both covers. On Van's "List" the part number is F-430, AS3-025 X 18 1/2 X 29 1/4, for around $25.00.

I laid out the parts on the sheet aluminum, drilled some 1/4" bend relief holes and zipped them out on the band saw. The parts for both the left and right covers are identical. The only difference is the direction that you bend the flanges.

Six bends are needed to form each box and these were easily done with a small bending brake.

I used a protractor and seaming pliers to fine tune the bends as needed. The parts are fastened together with AN426AD3-3.5 rivets spaced about an inch apart. Most of the rivets can be back riveted. Figuring out the riveting sequence of the parts is really the only tricky step in doing this. From the pictures you will see that flanges on the cap piece (Drawing Part C) are positioned on the outside of the cover.

To attach the completed covers I made four angled 9/16" wide tabs from .032 aluminum. These are riveted on the top of the covers and fastened to the spar cover with four 1/2" x 8-32 truss head screws and nutplates.

The covers weigh 7 ounces each before painting for a combined total weight of less than a pound.

I am very pleased with the results. With a little paint work these covers are going to look terrific and, because of the way they are angled, not a bad place to rest your leg. If you really want to get fancy you could cover them with a little carpet, fabric, or leather.

Now if I could just figure out how to install a cup holder in them that would be great!

If you would like to make these covers for yourself see Post #8 in this thread for a full size drawing that can be used as templates for the parts.
Jim Ellis

RV-7A, N23VC, Slider, Garmin G3X Touch Panel,
Barrett Precision Engines Superior XPIO-360,
Dual P-Mags, Airflow Performance FM200A,
Classic Aero Designs Interior,
GLO Custom Aircraft Paint,

RV-9A N155T, Sold

Last edited by Jim Ellis : 07-19-2017 at 07:49 AM. Reason: updated picture links
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:45 PM
boom3's Avatar
boom3 boom3 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sumner, WA
Posts: 727

Wow Jim those really look great! I hear ya about a cup holder, I often put my sports water bottle in that little triangular space.
Jeff Bloomquist
Sumner, WA

1150 Hours
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:46 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is online now
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,095

Jim, great looking work, pretty sure other folks will be all over this for their birds. Are you going to have the cut sheet available as a PDF or some such??

Any thoughts to put in a door, and make them into storage cubby holes??
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."

Last edited by Mike S : 03-09-2014 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:47 PM
LifeofReiley's Avatar
LifeofReiley LifeofReiley is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Round Rock, TX
Posts: 3,779
Thumbs up That took some time!

Very Very nice work Jim!!! For someone wanting cup holders there are these:
Retired N622DR - Serial #V7A1467
VAF# 671
Repeat Offender / Race 007
Friend of the RV-1

Last edited by LifeofReiley : 03-09-2014 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:26 PM
NDrv8r's Avatar
NDrv8r NDrv8r is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bismarck, ND
Posts: 212
Default gear cover

Beautiful work! It is really hard to get all those measurements to work out.

I left mine uncovered and found that they make a perfect resting place for my headsets.
Larry Buller
RV7A slow build, Tip up, IO360 200hp, Catto 3 blade, Dynon Skyview, arinc 429, ems, SV transponder, Garmin GNS430w, Aera 560, Dynon D6.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:00 PM
Zuldarin's Avatar
Zuldarin Zuldarin is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Snoqualmie, wa
Posts: 414
Default Ok, that is cool!

I love it when something cool like this shows up on this site. How creative!
Snoqualmie WA
RV-9A Sold
RV-10 Flying
2021 donation sent!
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:18 PM
Jesse's Avatar
Jesse Jesse is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: X35 - Ocala, FL
Posts: 3,711

I like to use the weldments as a step for climbing out. I'm not a small guy, and I'm sure my foot would crush those. It sure cleans up the look, though.
Jesse Saint
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:31 PM
Jim Ellis's Avatar
Jim Ellis Jim Ellis is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 135
Smile Full Size Templates for Covers

Thanks all for your glowing comments! I hoped that others might want to make similar covers for themselves.

I have created a JPEG file, ?GEAR WELDMENT COVER PATTERNS?, for a full size 18? x 24? template drawing that I will be happy to send to anyone that requests it by email with the word ?COVER? in the subject line.

The drawing file is provided for everyone's individual, personal, non-commercial use only.

Most Kinko?s, OfficeMax, and Office Depot stores that have oversize printing capability can reproduce the JPEG drawing full size. Just make sure that both the vertical and horizontal dimensions on the drawing scale correctly. Borrow a ruler and check several dimensions before you accept the print. Incorrect print setups may distort the aspect ratio or the enlargement of the file.

Send your request to: with the word ?COVER? in the subject line and I will send you a reply with the drawing file attached.

Jim Ellis

RV-7A, N23VC, Slider, Garmin G3X Touch Panel,
Barrett Precision Engines Superior XPIO-360,
Dual P-Mags, Airflow Performance FM200A,
Classic Aero Designs Interior,
GLO Custom Aircraft Paint,

RV-9A N155T, Sold
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:37 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,856

Very nice Jim. It will give the plane a finished look. The more "finished" it looks, the more confident it makes people that have no idea it is possible to build an airplane to take a flight.

Thanks for the idea. I think I might have to give it a try.
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:19 AM
rhill rhill is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Valley Forge, Pa
Posts: 663
Default Gear leg

Nice work Jim,Thank you for the Jpeg
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